Anyone who is having troubles should pray. ... When a believing person prays, great things happen. -James 5:13,16 NCV

Imagine

John 14:2 (NLT)
     ….. I am going to prepare a place for you…..


1 Corinthians 2:9 (NLT)
     That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”

Father it is beyond our imagination what heaven must be like and the glorious relationships that are fulfilled there in eternal love and endearing fellowship. To imagine no sin, no disease, do death no tears and no good byes. It is the prepared place of joy fulfilled, of peace that will never be disturbed and of hope that will never diminish. And yet Father, “For now we see in a mirror dimly…..” 1 Cor.13:12 (ESV)

And Father, though our eyes are now deemed with tears, yet our vision of heaven and its wonders are clear through faith in your promise. So when we so goodbye to our loved ones here we will wait with great expectation for our eternal hello up there…… Imagine that!

"Glory belongs to God, whose power is at work in us. By this power he can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine." Eph. 3:20 (GW)

Amen

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Lord, Have Mercy

For all who are ill today we ask that you would appear in healing.

For all who struggle with addictions we ask that you would come in power.

For those who lack wisdom we intercede asking that the Spirit of Wisdom is manifested.

For all who weep and despair we pray that your arms of love would surround them.

For all who mourn losses of all kinds we pray that you would come in comfort.

Lord, have mercy on us and give ear to our supplication.

Amen
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A New Serenity Prayer

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the people I cannot change,
which is pretty much everyone,
since I'm clearly not you, God.
At least not the last time I checked.

And while you're at it, God,
please give me the courage
to change what I need to change about myself,
which is frankly a lot, since, once again,
I'm not you, which means I'm not perfect.
It's better for me to focus on changing myself
than to worry about changing other people,
who, as you'll no doubt remember me saying,
I can't change anyway.

Finally, give me the wisdom to just shut up
whenever I think that I'm clearly smarter
than everyone else in the room,
that no one knows what they're talking about except me,
or that I alone have all the answers.

Basically, God,
grant me the wisdom
to remember that I'm
not you.

Amen.

... shared with thanks to the author, Fr. James Martin

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Father, remind us of who we are in Christ. Teach us that our identity is as your children who have been justified. Help us to realize that we have been, are being, and will be, sanctified and glorified. Let us know your unfathomable love. Amen

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A DAY OF WORSHIP






I love Sundays.  A day set apart for Worship.

"Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty;
Heaven and earth are full of Thy Glory:
Glory be to Thee, O Lord most high."
Amen

I pray, O God, for all human hearts that today are lifted up to Thee in earnest desire, and for every group of men and women who are met together to praise and magnify Thy name.  Whatever be their mode of worship, be graciously pleased to accept their humble offices of prayer and praise, and lead them unto life eternal, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

This prayer is taken from a wonderful book of prayers by John Baillie in a Diary of Private Prayer published in 1949.

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Training

1 Corinthians 9:25 (NLT)
   All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.


Father it is understood by all athletes that the road to victory is paved with rigorous challenges that can only be overcome with discipline, determination and dedicated training.

We have seen this exemplified in many stories this week as told in the life experiences of the Olympic Athletes. What is expected from each country for their athletes is that they are faithful and do their best.

Father, I cannot imagine any less expectation for us who represent heaven in your Name than that we should also be faithful and do our best. This of course will require discipline, determination and dedicated training. But, Oh the joy of hearing you say: “ ….Well done, my good and faithful servant…..”  Matthew 25:21 (NLT)
Then, Father, we can say with anticipation as the Apostle Paul said: ”…. I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. 8And now the prize awaits me—“ 2 Timothy 4:7-8 (NLT)


Amen

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Friday

Dear Lord,
It's Friday again. I'm not sure if I'm actually looking forward to the weekend or dreading it. They certainly aren't quite what they used to be. It's been a short week and a long week, and the next week is coming along faster than I want it to, if that makes any sense. I pray that in the midst of this unusually noisy and busy household, that You would fill our hearts and minds with the peace that come only from You, that peace that passes understanding. And in spite of the fact that I so often think I want something different, I really do thank you, Lord, for what You've given me.
Amen

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Rejoicing in God's Provision

God,

I may not have a bunch of stuff,
I may not get every thing I think I want, but I definitely have enough.

I have you and rejoice in your provisions!

You are my provider and I have never gone without a necessity being fulfilled.

Even in my weakness, your grace is sufficient.

To believe this is a daily struggle.

My flesh doesn’t believe it like my heart does.

I ask that you would help me to always rejoice in all that you have provided for my family and I.

I pray that I remain humble and thankful in Jesus name AMEN!

... prayer offered by Jennifer at Unveiled Wife

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He hears

The bible tells us to "pray without ceasing". Several times in the scriptures we see the phrase 'pray always'. God is showing us over and over in His Word the importance of keeping in touch with Him through prayer at all times. It is about developing a posture of prayer. It is about being in tune with the Holy Spirit at all times. It is about being in a prayerful attitude as we go about our daily lives.

If we don't activate the privilege of prayer in our lives, we won't be effective in the Kingdom. It is imperative that we are ever mindful of God and the power that He bestows upon us through His precious Holy Spirit. The power that is made evident in effectual and fervent prayer. God has given us the amazing gift of communication with Him through our utterances of prayer. 

The beautiful thing about prayer? We know that He hears and that He responds. We know that He cares and that He reaches down and ministers. How do we know? His Word tells us that very truth.

"In my distress I cried unto the LORD,
and He heard me."
(Psalm 120:1)

Thank you, Lord, for hearing our prayers....

Amen

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Help me to spread Thy fragrance

Dear Jesus,

Help me to spread Thy fragrance everywhere I go.

Flood my soul with Thy spirit and love.

Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that all my life may only be a radiance of Thine.

Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel Thy presence in my soul.

Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus.

Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as you shine, so to shine as to be a light to others.

Amen
... a prayer of Mother Teresa

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I never get tired of praying Psalm 139.  It was part of our devotions at breakfast this morning, and I've had it on my mind and on my lips all day.  I couldn't think of a better prayer to share.

Psalm 139:1-4, 7-10  "O Lord, You have searched me and known me.  You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thoughts far off.  You comprehend my path an my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.  For there is not a word on tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether... Where can I go from Your Spirit?   Or where can I flee from Your presence?  If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold You are there.  If I take the wings of the morning and, and swell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead men, and Your right hand shall hold me."   I love you Lord.  Amen

Amen

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LONGSUFFERING




Psalm 86:15 (NKJV)
      But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.

Father the Apostle Paul mentions that the first quality of love in 1 Cor.13:4 (NKJV) is “Love suffers long…”  This certainly speaks of your extraordinary and exceptional patience with us. Your longsuffering gives us the opportunity to respond, repent and be restored in our relationship with you.

The thorns piercing your heart portrays the pain our sin causes you as well as the compassion your feel for us. It is a shocking reminder of Gen.6:6 (NIV) “The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain”.  Yet, Father, even in that pain you did not forget your mercy. As the Apostle Peter reminds us …..the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; II Peter 3:15 (NKJV)


So Father, on this week-end when we celebrate romantic love, we also want to be mindful of your redeeming love, so unconditional, uncompromising and unlimited in its longsuffering. Thank you Father that you are: “…longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” II Peter 3:9 (NKJV)

Amen

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A Midwinter Day

Dear Lord,
Thank you for this cold, gray midwinter day. My house is full of small children with terrible coughs and disgusting runny noses, but even this can bring a smile if I only remember that You are in the midst. Tomorrow the house will be quiet once again. The sun may shine and there may be no nose to wipe or tears to dry. Thank you, Lord, for giving me the ability to smile and little ones to smile at and about.
Amen

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I have no idea where I am going.

My Lord God,

I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.

Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.

And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.

I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

Amen
-The Merton Prayer from “In Thoughts of Solitude”

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He is my refuge

"I will say of the LORD, 
He is my Refuge and 
 my fortress; my God;
In Him will I trust"
(Psalm 91:2)



Amen

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Help me to think before I speak ...

Dear God,

People can be so mean to one another through their thoughtless words. It has happened to me...and at times I may have caused pain on others through words I've uttered.

Please help me to think before I speak.

I pray that I will always think of others and their needs, their hurts, their circumstances, even their personalities in the way I speak and respond.

I pray that every brother and sister in Christ would speak words of encouragement, exhortation, and the truth in love.

If there is a need for confrontation, may it be through following biblical principles that the name of Jesus be lifted up and that you will be glorified through it all.

May I never be rude or uncaring and may I never say words that leave that impression.

Thank you for helping me and for blessing me. In the name of Jesus I come to you.

Amen.
... a prayer offered last week by my niece Maria.

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    Set us free, O God, from the bondage of our sins, and give us the liberty of that abundant life which you have made known to us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Scot McKnight      

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Dear Lord, how sad and heavy my heart is that my brother is suffering with cancer and the prognosis is not good.  But you are greater than all the bad prognosis, and you can turn things around if you desire too.  I want Your will, but I do ask that you will touch him, and if his time is to be short, then Lord will you give him your strength and grace, his wife, and our family.  I love you, and I'm leaning on your strong arms.  Amen



Amen

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Touched

Hebrews 4:15 (KJV)
   For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities…..

Father how this reminds me of your concern and care for your people Israel spoken of in Isaiah 63:9 (NKJV)
“In all their affliction He was afflicted…….”

Thank you Father that there is never a time, a place, or an experience through which we pass that is unknown to you. And not only do you know what concerns us, even more you are truly touched with the feeling of our infirmities and afflictions.  It really does matter to you about us, our sorrow, suffering and uncertainty.

Thank you Father for the compassion and comfort expressed in the moving words of the Audrey Meier song: “It Matters to Him about You.”

“It matters to him about you Your heartaches your sorrow he shares
Regardless of what you may do He wants you He loves you, he cares
Oh yes, it matters to him about you Believe it because it is true
Cling to his hand, He'll understand For it matters to Him about you.”


Thank you Father for understanding, identifying and intervening for us with such your tender care and mercy.

Amen

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A Challenge to Go

The Lord be with you in all the places where your go.

Go then:

      go where there is ignorance;
      go where there is need;
      go where there is danger;
      go where there is pain;
      go where there is narrowness;
      go where there is fear;

Go in courage; go in doubt.

Go in the wisdom of knowing and the wisdom of not knowing.

Go in strength, and in the strength of weakness.

Go in the joy which overcomes sorrow; and in the love which casts out fear.

Go – and the blessing of God go with you.

Amen
... Charles Price (Virginia Theological Seminary Journal - Fall 2009)

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He giveth more grace

"He giveth more grace when the
burden grows greater;
He sendeth more strength 
when the labors increase.
To added affliction He addeth
His mercy;
To multiplied trials,
His multiplied peace.

I love these words by Annie Flint (1866-1932). They certainly express the cries of my heart this past week. Last Saturday, my middle daughter, Melissa, sends me a text of the outside of her Mass Avenue apartment building in Boston. There were firetrucks everywhere and soon it became apparent that her 4th floor condo was right below a huge, raging fire that started on the 5th floor and soon engulfed the top 3 floors. It was several days before Melissa was allowed back in her apartment to access damages. For 3 days all she had was the clothes she was wearing,  her debit card and her cell phone. Much of her things were lost to smoke and to water. She now has no place to live and only a few more days to retrieve what is still in the apartment. For a grad student with limited funds and who is living over 1500 miles from her family, this is devastating. 

But through it all, God has given us this grace that Annie writes of and that our precious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ dispenses so generously. He sends us strength just when we need it. He takes us 'strength to strength' is what the Psalmist tells in Psalm 84:7. Indeed, He has done this for Melissa and for her mama and and daddy this past week. We have sweet peace that only comes from Him.

If you don't know this mighty and powerful God that we serve and you don't know this mighty love that He has for you, I pray that you will begin seeking Him with all of your heart and that He will reveal Himself to you in all His glory.


Amen

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Prayer before Surgery

My wife had surgery today to deal with a kidney stone blockage. Reminded me that it is good to ask God for help in such situations. Please take a moment and pray with me.

Loving Father, I entrust myself to your care this day; guide with wisdom and skill the minds and hands of the medical people who minister in your Name, and grant that every cause of illness be removed, I may be restored to soundness of health and learn to live in more perfect harmony with you and with those around me. Through Jesus Christ. Amen.

...originally offered at Catholic Online

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Who We Are

Father, remind us daily of the fact that in Christ we are your beloved sons and daughters in whom you are pleased. Keep us aware that in Christ we have all of the spiritual riches you have to give. Help us to remember that we have been given the Spirit, that our hearts have been made new, and that it is Christ that lives in us. Let us live in the truth of our union with Christ. Amen

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